pitiful. Thanks to those who came.”
Kim English, MU senior forward, on the sparse crowd of a little over 5,000 at Mizzou Arena for the Sunday afternoon game against Binghamton
@GabeDeArmond: Most amusing sign so far at Game Day: "Digga Please!" #Mizzou
@Englishscope24 Racism. Clearly amusing.
Phil Pressey admits on College Gameday that KU game is only win that matters
The most intimidating intro video ever!
Mizzou's version of One Shining Moment
David Padgett video closes down the Hearnes Center
LJW photos: Border War over the years
The rivalry actually has been rather lopsided, with Kansas holding a decisive 171-94 advantage and carrying a five-game winning streak into Saturday's matchup.
The last time Missouri had a higher ranking for a matchup was 2009, when it was 11th, four spots ahead of the Jayhawks, and lost by 25 points in Lawrence, Kan.
It's been a bigger game for Missouri in recent years because of Kansas' stature, and the Tigers' lack of it.
"We cannot win any games except for Kansas and we had a great season," Missouri forward Ricardo Ratliffe said, echoing remarks from seasons past.
AP (This was also stated by Phil Pressey on College Gameday. Lose all other games, beat Kansas, season is a success. LOL)
KU beat Missouri, 75-65, in the Big Seven Holiday Tournament championship in Kansas City for win No. 700, but not without a little drama on the court. Kansas All-American Clyde Lovellette (below) stepped on the midriff of Missouri's Win Wilfong with 3:02 left to play. He was ejected from the game, and Missouri fans were in an uproar. In fact, Missouri fans continued with their chanting while Kansas received the championship trophy. But Sparky Stalcup, the Tigers' coach, calmed the crowd, perhaps preventing a riot, and in the process became great friends with Phog Allen. Later, Allen had Stalcup as the guest speaker at two KU basketball banquets! Under the guidance of Coach Phog Allen, Kansas finished the season 28-3 and won the program's first NCAA and third national championship. That season Lovellette became the only player in history - and he remains the only player in history - to win an NCAA title and lead the nation in scoring in the same season.
The 1960–61 basketball Tigers are known for their pugilistic proficiency as much as their court capability. In February 1961, the Jayhawks had beaten Mizzou in Lawrence, a game that featured such an abusive home crowd that pregame introductions were cut short. During the second half of the March 11, 1961, rematch in Columbia, KU’s Wayne Hightower boiled over. Mizzou star center Charles Henke swatted the 6-foot-8-inch Hightower’s repeated layup attempts after the forward had stolen an inbounds pass. Henke might have gotten more arm than ball. “I looked at the referee because he hadn’t called a foul,” says Henke, able to laugh about it half a century later. “I turned around just in time to get smacked right between the eyes by Hightower’s large fist.
The fight was on. Both benches cleared, our football team came out of the stands along with some fans, and it was quite a melee for a few minutes.” When the dust settled at Brewer Fieldhouse, the Tigers won, 79-76. But as ABC Game of the Week broadcaster Jack Buck observed, “more than one shiner” resulted from the incident, and Henke and Hightower were ejected from the game.
A Kansas strength that will matter: Point guard Tyshawn Taylor has done a much better job protecting the basketball of late, an especially valuable skill against Missouri’s wealth of ball-hounds. He averaged 4.6 turnovers through KU’s first five Big 12 games but has committed only seven total in his past four games, including a zero-turnover performance in 34 minutes of a road win at Texas on Jan. 21. His scoring has risen pretty dramatically in conference play, too. Taylor averaged 15.3 points per game heading into Big 12 play, but he’s scoring 18.8 against league foes.
A Missouri strength that will matter: Look for the Tigers to aggressively feed the ball inside to Ricardo Ratliffe early and often. And not necessarily in true post feeds, but when Ratliffe is cutting to the basket or when the roll man in the pick-and-roll. At 6-8, he’s dwarfed by the Jayhawk who will be defending him -- 7-footer Jeff Withey. And don’t expect to see zone; according to Synergy, Kansas has used zone on just 19 possessions all season. So Ratliffe's knack for gaining good post position won’t be as valuable as normal. But Ratliffe is much quicker than Withey and is more efficient on possessions when on the move. On cuts to the basket, Ratliffe is averaging 1.5 PPP (93rd percentile nationally). When the roll man, he’s averaging 1.613 PPP (97th percentile).
Bottom line: There might not be a more emotional game this season. The Tigers and Jayhawks have a long and heated rivalry, and this might be the last time the two teams square off on the Mizzou campus. Factor in the dual top-10 rankings and supremacy in the Big 12 on the line, and this definitely is must-see basketball.
Saturday is as close to a must-win as Missouri will get this season. Here are three keys to a Tigers' win.
1. Spread the fouls. The biggest mismatch in this game comes between Thomas Robinson, and whoever is trying to guard the possible national player of the year. Robinson's athleticism makes him a tough match for Ricardo Ratliffe or Steve Moore, and his size and strength will make it difficult for Kim English or Matt Pressey. Whatever happens, Ratliffe, Moore and English cannot get in foul trouble in this game, and Robinson can create fouls at will. For that reason, Missouri needs to make sure the help defenders pick up a lion's share of the fouls -- which will come. For Ratliffe, Moore and English, they need to make sure their fouls are good, strong fouls. Avoid the ticky-tack touch fouls against Kansas' big man.
2. Stay on Taylor. While T-Rob is stealing the headlines for the Jayhawks, Tyshawn Taylor has evolved into one of the top point guards in the nation. However, he still has a penchant for reckless play, especially when he's frustrated. He averages 4.5 turnovers in losses, above his season average of 3.6 -- which is still the highest of his career. Of course, that 4.5 average in losses is because of an 11-turnover performance against Duke. Taylor can be the best player on the court, or he can force Kansas out of its gameplan. By using Mike Dixon, Matt Pressey and Marcus Denmon to guard him, Missouri has the ability to pester him for 40 minutes. At the same time, Missouri can't let Taylor roam around the perimeter unimpeded. He leads Kansas by making 44 percent of his three-point field goals. If Taylor gets on a run, Missouri absolutely needs Marcus Denmon to match him. As of late, however, Denmon hasn't shown he can do that.
3. Feed the fire. The atmosphere at Mizzou Arena may be the craziest it's ever been. This season, Missouri has had a penchant for going on runs at home, only to let the opponent claw their way back. Missouri dominated from start to finish against Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Against Texas and Texas Tech, the Tigers had big leads, but didn't put the game away for good until late. Against the Jayhawks, there can't be any lulls. Missouri most likely won't run with the game. But, it needs steady, consistent play to make sure the crowd is at a fever pitch for the duration of the game.
Inside St Louis
The Jayhawks have done their share of winning at Mizzou Arena. They’re 4-3 in the building and have won four of their last five appearances, losing in 2009 when the jump shot of Tigers guard Zaire Taylor bounced in with fewer than 2 seconds remaining to complete a Missouri comeback.
Students poured from the stands to celebrate, which tends to happen when the Jayhawks lose on the road. Iowa State’s students celebrated at midcourt last weekend after the Cyclones took down Kansas.
The Jayhawks’ road record — 46-14 in Big 12 road games over the past 7½ years — explains the exuberance.
Either side will be thrilled with a victory tonight.
“It’s definitely more important another game,” Taylor said. “It’s Kansas-Missouri. Just that fact alone makes it a little more important.”
junior Mike Dixon says that Haith likely cannot fathom the Border War experience in which he will be immersed when No. 8 Kansas plays No. 4 Missouri at 8 Saturday night in Mizzou Arena — no matter that Haith’s 25-year coaching career has exposed him to Big 12 rivalry games as a Texas assistant and ACC tilts against North Carolina and Duke while coaching at Miami.
“Not really,” Dixon said. “He played against Kansas at Texas. But not as a Missouri Tiger. I don’t even think he knows the magnitude of the game.
“But once the fans get in here at 6:30 … and he comes out here, he’s going to know what it’s all about.”
Kansas has held a dominant upper hand in winning five straight against Missouri — three in Lawrence and two in Columbia. Not since a 62-60 victory over the Jayhawks in Columbia on Feb. 4, 2009, have the Tigers and their crowd celebrated in the fashion that they hope to tonight.
But nowhere does the desire for that satisfaction bubble more fiercely than the hearts and minds of Dixon, Marcus Denmon, Steve Moore, Jarrett Sutton and Andrew Jones; five Tigers who come from the Kansas City area, where the drums of the Border War beat loudest. The scene is the same in Columbia, where students have camped out since Thursday and are ready to rush into ESPN’s “College GameDay” extravaganza on Saturday morning.
Denmon pointed to a distant seat at Mizzou Arena to make his point.
“That seat up there in Section 203,” Denmon said. “There will be two people sitting in that top seat up there.
“It’ll be packed like nothing we’ve gotten to see this year.”
• Members of the Antlers fan group got ready for their last chance to taunt their archrival at home by eating at KFC — Tigers devouring chicken, get it?
• Freshmen chatted about their first KU game, eager to pack what would be four years of hatred into one night.
• ESPN prepared for another large crowd for its live “College GameDay” broadcast from 9 to 11 this morning at Mizzou Arena, where thousands of fans are expected to cheer and wave signs — a warmup for the game, which tips off at 8 p.m.
Eric Hollenbach, the president of the Antlers, didn’t want to lessen the impact but hinted that one sign — of which he is particularly proud — features a Photoshopped picture of KU point guard Tyshawn Taylor wearing a dress, while another mocks Jayhawk traditions.
“I just found out that their Rock Chalk chant was based off limestone, and the closest limestone to Lawrence is 150 miles away,” said Hollenbach, a senior communications and Spanish major from O’Fallon, Ill. “So basically they have a mythical bird bringing them limestone from a place that’s not even close to Lawrence.”
For freshmen, this could be the first and last time they get to root against Kansas at Mizzou Arena while they’re in college. KU officials maintain they will not play nonconference games against MU, which leaves the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference in July.
For Eric Hollenbach and his college buddies, Christmas always comes a few months late. They spend months preparing for the holiday, dine on poultry the night before, pick out special outfits for the big day and, finally, gather together to celebrate.
“This is what we live for,” said Hollenbach, a senior communications major at Missouri. “This is what our group is for.”
That group is the Antlers. And tonight is their raison d’être, their final chance to harass archrival Kansas at Mizzou Arena.
When it’s time for the Jayhawks’ turn on the home schedule, the student fan group born in 1976 fulfills a week of traditions. Some the members don’t mind disclosing publicly, some they wait for tipoff to unveil.
…“Everybody’s had a collective agreement that that’s something we should stay away from,” Hollenbach said of Lisa Robinson’s death. “We emphasized that point more when the T-shirt rumors started because everyone immediately pointed their fingers at us. But we were like, ‘Wait, we would never do that. And if we did, we wouldn’t put it out there.’ ”
One particular number on the Missouri stat sheet illustrates just how powerfully basketball numbers mislead.
First-year Missouri coach Frank Haith, off to a terrific start, uses this seven-man rotation, listed in order of their field-goal percentages: Ricardo Ratliffe (.751), Steve Moore (.528), Kim English (.512), Michael Dixon (.447), Marcus Denmon (.441), Matt Pressey (.428) and Phil Pressey (.394).
Any mathematician worth his slide rule can tell you that Phil Pressey, Matt’s brother, Paul’s son, drags down the team’s season shooting percentage to .498, which nonetheless leads the Big 12. After all, without Phil’s 175 shot attempts, the Tigers would be shooting .515 from the field. That’s what the figures say. They lie. That figures.
Ratliffe’s high shooting percentage is a testament to his ability to catch what’s thrown to him. Easy shots are created for him because English, who plays power forward, is shooting .495 from three-point range. As Kansas coach Bill Self pointed out, following English to the three-point line removes the double-team against Ratliffe. And everyone gets better shots because Phil Pressey penetrates to collapse the defense and is so adept at finding the open man.
“They’re better off the bounce than any team we’ve played this year, no question,” Self said of the Tigers. “Matt Pressey’s having a really good year, no question. Denmon, Player of the Year candidate in our league, no question. Dixon, unbelievable off the bench, arguably as good a sixth man as there is around. And of course, Kim’s having a good year.
“But little Phil Pressey’s still the guy that drives the bus, and he makes plays with his speed that are very hard to coach. He’s good at finishing himself, but until you watch a lot of tape, I don’t think you really appreciate how fast he is.”
Statistics reveal Phil Pressey leads the Big 12 in assists and steals. They don’t show that he also is the main reason Missouri leads the Big 12 in field-goal percentage.
“We talk about Thomas, but Tyshawn, he’s playing his best basketball right now — in his whole career I think,” MU Coach Frank Haith said.
Haith noted that Taylor was playing with an injury earlier this season. He sprained the medial collateral ligament and tore the meniscus in his right knee, requiring surgery in mid-December. He didn’t miss a game afterward and has been getting stronger.
“He’s now hit his stride,” Haith said. “He’s playing with confidence. He’s not turning the ball over like he was early in the year, but a big thing, he’s shooting the ball very well.
“He’s a tough matchup because he’s big and strong.”
Those aren’t the only things Pressey has observed about Taylor.
“He has a non-ending dribble,” Pressey said. “He always has the ball in his hands. He’s always going full speed to the hole, and he can finish well around the rim. I guess we’ve just got to stop him from penetrating so much, and even though it’s been hard to do, I believe we can do so.”
Another thing that makes Taylor so dangerous is he always looks to score.
That’s where his game deviates most from Pressey, who epitomizes the pass-first point guard, though he’s scored in double figures in six of nine Big 12 games.
“I guess it just depends on your situation on your team,” Pressey said. “On my team, I have a lot of players that can go out and get 20 points any given night. Somebody has to take the back seat and facilitate.”
Actually, he’s been in the driver’s seat all season, steering a team that ranks among the top 10 nationally in scoring and field-goal percentage.
“They have just been able to spread the floor, and they are so good at making the extra pass because they are very unselfish,” Kansas Coach Bill Self told reporters yesterday. “I think they are very fun to watch.”
While MU has statistical advantages in areas such as shooting percentage, free throw percentage and steals a game, KU has been a better rebounding team and has an inside tandem that will be a challenge for Mizzou on both ends of the court.
Seven-foot center Jeff Withey and 6-10 forward Thomas Robinson each are taller than any Tiger. Withey has blocked 68 shots this season and Robinson is averaging 17.6 points and 12 rebounds and has 50 of Kansas' 105 dunks.
"When that ball goes on the rim, that's when he's at his best," Haith said. "It's hand-to-hand combat with him, and you've got to be ready to take it on."
English, a 6-6 natural guard who has been playing the 4 position as MU has gone with a four-guard lineup, figures to draw Robinson.
But he said, "We're going to throw a bunch of guys at him. He's really that good, and we're really that small."
St Louis PD
ESPN Jay Bilas: KU-MU preview
Yahoo: Four keys to Kansas-Mizzou matchup
Ryan Robertson: I will miss the rivalry
C.B. McGrath: Mizzou memories not all pleasant
The advantage of a hostile home crowd is ingrained in basketball thinking, and the environment at Mizzou Arena has been a dominant storyline leading up to Saturday's Border War.
Really, though, how much can a rabid fanbase impact the outcome of a game? This question occurred to basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy as he watched KU play Baylor at Allen Fieldhouse earlier this season, and he published his findings this week at ESPN.com.
“I think the takeaway is that homecourt advantage is obviously real, but the impact of the crowd is typically overstated,” Pomeroy said Friday by phone. “Whether you look at it by point differential or winning percentage, the teams that end up looking like they have the biggest homecourt advantage aren't necessarily the ones that have the most intimidating crowds.”
Allen Fieldhouse is often cited as the height of homecourt advantage, and opposing teams can attest to the building's mystique. When Pomeroy analyzed conference games from the past 12 years, though, he found that other teams benefit far more from playing on their home courts.
Utah Valley, a team from the Great West Conference that plays in an 8,500-seat arena, had the greatest homecourt advantage (7.328 points), while KU's advantage (4.63) ranked 70th.
The implication, Pomeroy said, is that unfamiliar surroundings can be a bigger component of homecourt advantage than hostile fans.
“There's a tendency when you're in somebody else's home, even if you're just visiting another city, that you tend to be a lot more passive and defer to what other people are doing,” Pomeroy said. “You try to blend in more. I don't know if there's an application to that in college basketball, but you can see how a team would go on the road and kind of lose their identity.”
In Bill Self's experience, volume often cancels out venom in harsh road environments. Individual sentiments, no matter how nasty or clever, will become background noise for the Jayhawks on Saturday.
“When it's loud, you don’t hear individual comments,” Self said. “It will be crazy, but people say it’s crazy here, too. I don’t think the verbiage that comes out of individual mouths in the stands will play any factor.”
In researching homecourt advantage, Pomeroy found a study conducted at Southern Illinois in the 1970s — “Effects of Abusive Spectators' Behavior on Performance of Home and Visiting Intercollegiate Basketball Teams" was the full title — that suggested an especially abusive crowd could be as detrimental to the home team as it was to the visitor.
Scientific examination only goes so far, though.
“The problem is, you're talking about factors that add up to four points in a game, and natural variability is typically greater than four points,” Pomeroy said. “It's just really difficult to figure out what's causing that.”
Though the impact of a hostile crowd is sometimes overstated, it's worth noting that Missouri ranked 12th on Pomeroy's list with a homecourt advantage of roughly six points.
I can understand KU using Missouri’s departure to the SEC to briefly discontinue the football series until the Jayhawks get back on their feet in that sport. If your football team is struggling for bowl eligibility, you don’t want to schedule nonconference losses, and KU has dropped five of its last six football games to Missouri. That would be an unfortunate decision, but at least it would make business sense.
But basketball? If you have the superior basketball program — and even the ghost of William Quantrill wouldn’t argue that Kansas does — why not play every year? And if not on the campuses, then at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. On a neutral court the game would be a toss-up this year, but the vast majority of the time the Jayhawks would be favored.
The place would be sold out, and the game would be televised nationally. Beating your rival for all to see is far better revenge than the silent treatment ... or taking your ball and going home.
The 8th annual Dick Vitale Gala, which is slated for May 2013, will like its predecessors raise money for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Calhoun, Kansas coach Bill Self and former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden will be feted next year in Sarasota, Fla.
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Win or lose at Maryland on Saturday, North Carolina coach Roy Williams said he can't help but have some negative feelings about the match-up.
Fall to the Terrapins, and his sixth-ranked team will have lost its second ACC game.
Beat them, and he’ll have had a role in handing his former assistant coach, Mark Turgeon, his ninth defeat at Maryland.
“He's part family,’’ Williams said Friday. “I really am going to have some bad thoughts about competing against him, there's no question.”
Turgeon (who is in his first season as head coach of the Terps) served as Williams’ assistant on Williams’ first staffs at Kansas. He said Williams “saved my career” when he offered him the job in 1988 — mostly because that career was so new.
A former point guard for the Jayhawks under Larry Brown, Turgeon had only served as an assistant there for a year before Brown left for the NBA, and Williams was hired to replace him.
“I met Coach after the [introductory] press conference, and drove him to the hotel that night in my 1972 Mustang, and he offered me the job sitting out in front of the Holiday Inn," Turgeon remembered in a phone interview. “So it was a great day.”
Williams, who was starting his first college head coaching job after serving as an assistant under Tar Heels coach Dean Smith, said he was drawn to Turgeon because of the young coach’s commitment to his alma mater.
“It was neat because he said, ‘Coach, for a couple of days I've heard you talk about your feelings for North Carolina and what you want to do here.’ He said, 'The feelings you have for North Carolina is exactly the way I feel about the University of Kansas,’” Williams remembered.
“It just hit me, the love and the passion that I had for this place, that's what he had there and I needed that on my staff. … I'm telling you, it was one of the luckiest and best decisions that I had ever made in my life.”
UConn's Jim Calhoun doesn't mince words when it comes to his health.
So, when the Hall of Fame coach of the defending national champions, who turns 70 in May, had just about had it with his back problems, he let people know.
"The bottom line is I'm going to need some work done," Calhoun told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday. "In January the shooting pains were getting worse and after one plane ride I couldn't even get up. I tried to hide it. I'm taking medicine right now for the pain. They are waiting for things to quiet down, and I'll meet with the doctor next week."
As a result, Calhoun is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence, as he has been suffering for several months from spinal stenosis, a spinal condition that causes him severe pain and hampers mobility.
At a time when the ACC buzz meter is relatively low in the two major sports, the league announced a scheduling policy Friday that will take another deep cut into its men's basketball popularity.
In preparation for the eventual arrivals of Pittsburgh and Syracuse as members, the league said North Carolina and N.C. State and Duke and Maryland no longer will be guaranteed to play each other twice a season when the membership hits 14 teams.
Fans howled immediately.
But the truth is ACC officials don't put the highest priority on what fans want, just so long as those fans continue to watch the games on television, purchase cable packages, send donations and attend games.
Wolfpack athletics director Debbie Yow called it the "reality of expansion."
It's also the reality of the bank deposit.
Annexing television markets has become more pertinent than the series between N.C. State and North Carolina, even though the rivalry was the primary force behind the explosion of interest in basketball in the South.
With the Super Bowl days away, federal authorities announced a crackdown Thursday on websites that stream unauthorized broadcasts of sports events just hours after New England quarterback Tom Brady told reporters in Indianapolis that he watched last year's game on an illegal site.
Investigators seized 16 sites and brought criminal charges against a Michigan man who controlled nine of them.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara warned sports fans in a release that piracy costs sports leagues and broadcasters millions of dollars, forcing increases in ticket prices and other costs to consumers.
His message came soon after Brady casually mentioned his own use of illegal websites during a news conference staged in preparation for the Super Bowl on Sunday between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.
On a night when Perry Ellis and the Heights Falcons took a break from assaulting the record books, North’s Conner Frankamp stepped up and stole headlines. The sharpshooting junior poured in 47 points for North as the Redskins took down East 69-66.
Frankamp passed former East great Korleone Young for fifth all-time on the City League scoring list with his first hoop of the night. He now has 1,476 points in his career. This was the third time this season that Frankamp eclipsed the 45-point mark. East’s Jalen Love had a banner night with 28 points of his own in the loss.
Landen Lucas 16pts 15reb & 5blks in 3 quarters
2/3/12 9:58 PM
2013 Kansas commit Brannen Greene Mary Persons (GA) had 27 pts, 14 rebs, 6 asts & 6 stls in a win tonight.
Rainier Beach needed a four-point play from Naim Ladd with 11.5 seconds remaining to avoid an upset loss to Lakeside as the state's top-ranked Class 3A boys basketball team escaped with a 68-66 Metro League victory Friday night at Beach.
Lakeside led 66-63 when Ladd was fouled while making a three-point shot. His free throw put Beach up 67-66.
After a charging call on a Lions player, the Vikings added a free throw with less than a second remaining for the final margin.
Anrio Adams of Rainier Beach and D'Marques Tyson of Lakeside each scored 19 points.
It was the final regular-season game for both teams. The next game for Beach (19-1, 15-0 Metro Sound) will be Tuesday in the Metro League tournament.
Noah Vonleh (New Hampton 2014) – Vonleh listed offers from Georgetown, Kansas, Arizona, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and “a bunch of others” as well as heavy interest from Kentucky and North Carolina. It seems safe to say that all the heavy hitters will take a shot at landing the super talented forward.
If you didn't know Semi Ojeleye scored 50 points in a high school basketball game earlier this week, you need to pay closer attention. Seriously, it was all over the Internet.
But if this is the first you're hearing about it, here's the skinny: Ojeleye, a 6-foot-6 junior small forward out of Ottawa who is the brother of Kansas State senior Victor Ojeleye, hit eight three-pointers, made all 10 of his free throws and scored a career-high 50 points during a 103-70 win over Spring Hill.
"I started off the game making my first three or four shots," Ojeleye said. "My teammates did a good job of finding me. We moved the ball really well. I got into a good rhythm and everything just came together for me."
Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith was reportedly in attendance for Ojeleye's big game, but college coaches everywhere heard about it. They were already paying attention. Ojeleye says he has scholarship offers from K-State, Wisconsin, UCLA, Oklahoma State, Northwestern, Nebraska, Marquette and Missouri.
With more 50-point efforts, that list will surely grow. But he's trying not to think about that at the moment.
National Prep School Invitational Feb 2-5 schedule and Live stream
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Check here for the NCAA Recruiting Calendar
ESPN HS TV schedule
My 2011 Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, KU Alumni games, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos now on Youtube